Los Angeles (47-42) at St. Louis (46-44)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 56° F
  • Game info: 8:10 pm EDT Thu Jul 10, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Matt Morris hopes to break out of his monthlong slump as he leads the St. Louis Cardinals against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of their two-game set at Busch Stadium.

Morris has not been pitching like an ace of late because of tenderness in his throwing shoulder. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 10.39 ERA over his last five starts.

He failed to earn a decision in his last outing, giving up four runs and eight hits over five innings in the Cardinals’ 6-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, his first start in 10 days.

Morris did not experience any pain in his shoulder after throwing in the bullpen on Wednesday.

“I felt great,” Morris said of his session. “No discomfort at all. It’s exciting.”

The Cardinals hope Morris puts an end to the Dodgers’ sudden offensive resurgence.

Rookie David Ross and Cesar Izturis drove in two runs apiece as Los Angeles scored its most runs since June 25 in beating St. Louis 6-5 on Wednesday

The Dodgers ended a three-game losing streak and won for just the third time in their last 16 overall.

“The guys made a conscious decision to battle out there,” Ross said. “That’s what we have to do night in and night out.”

The Dodgers have scored a combined 11 runs over the last two games after totaling just 20 in the previous 11. Los Angeles is hitting an NL-low .241.

“It feels good to watch this team in the midst of some serious adversity over the course of the last couple of weeks come in here and compete against the league’s best offensive club,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

Scott Rolen homered and had two RBIs for the Cardinals, who have lost three in a row.

STANDINGS: Dodgers - 3rd place, 7 1/2 GB, NL West. Cardinals - 1st place (tied), NL Central.

DODGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Odalis Perez (5-7, 4.12 ERA). Perez has not pitched well on the road, going 2-5 with a 5.21 ERA in 11 starts. The 26-year-old southpaw flirted with a no-hitter against Arizona on Saturday, holding the Diamondbacks hitless over seven innings in a 2-0 win. Perez allowed three hits and struck out five over eight innings. Perez had gone 0-5 with a 6.30 ERA over his previous seven starts.

CARDINALS PROBABLE STARTER: Morris (8-5, 3.99 ERA). The 28-year-old right-hander has allowed at least four runs in each of his last seven starts. Morris is 2-1 with a 5.11 ERA in six appearances, including four starts, against Los Angeles.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Dodgers - Paul Lo Duca, .310 avg.; Fred McGriff and Shawn Green, 10 HRs; Green, 42 RBIs and 40 runs; Dave Roberts, 24 SBs. Cardinals - Albert Pujols, .364 avg., 81 RBIs and 77 runs; Jim Edmonds, 27 HRs; Edgar Renteria, 22 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Dodgers, 1-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Dodgers - RHP Eric Gagne has converted 39 straight save opportunities dating to last season. … OF Brian Jordan will undergo season-ending surgery on the patella tendon in his left knee on Friday in Vail, Colo. Jordan is batting .299 with six home runs and 28 RBIs in 66 games. … The Dodgers are 37-1 when leading after seven innings. Cardinals - OF Pujols is 4-for-6 with a home run and four RBIs against LHP Perez. … The Cardinals are 5-16 in one-run games. … SS Renteria ranks third in the NL with 22 stolen bases.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Dodgers - 22-21 on the road; Cardinals - 26-19 at home.

INJURIES: Dodgers - C Todd Hundley (back), 15-day DL; 1B McGriff (groin), 15-day DL; OF Jordan (knee), 15-day DL; OF Roberts (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Troy Brohawn (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Darren Dreifort (knee), 60-day DL; LHP Derek Thompson (elbow), 60-day DL. Cardinals - C Joe Girardi (back), 15-day DL; C Steve Torrealba (elbow), 15-day DL; 2B Miguel Cairo (hand), 15-day DL; 2B Fernando Vina (hamstring), 15-day DL; OF Eli Marrero (ankle), 15-day DL; RHP Russ Springer (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Kiko Calero (knee), 60-day DL; RHP Chris Carpenter (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Gene Stechschulte (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

O. Perez Was vs. M. Morris Pit
12-12 Record 11-8
4.52 ERA 3.76
141 K 120
46 BB 39
1.28 WHIP 1.18